Zeta Corse and Merhi qualify in the top ten in Monte-Carlo
Roman Mavlanov will line-up in 7th row after a good team effort from Zeta Corse in today's qualifying.
Roberto Merhi will start tomorrow's F.Renault 3.5 race in Monaco from 10th place, while Roman Mavlanov will line-up in 7th row after a good team effort from Zeta Corse in today's qualifying.
Under a spotless sky and a warm sun, the Russian team shone thanks to a faultless setup work by their technical staff and an amazing drive by Spaniard talent Merhi, who managed to challenge for the top spots despite being at his first racing weekend ever on the Monaco track. With the field split in two groups to avoid "traffic jams", a common issue on such a tight track, Monaco is the only venue were the FR3.5 Qualifying obeys a special rule: while the fastest time overall earns pole position, the rest of drivers from the pole-sitter’s group line up directly behind him on the starting grid, while drivers from the other group start the race on the other side of it. This means that, pole-sitter apart, the position earned in the group session doesn't translate in the driver's starting position, but just decides the row he will start from.
In today's session, both Zeta's drivers took the track as part of Group A, the first one to get on track and, as a consequence, the slowest one. Despite the disadvantage of a very dirty and slippery tarmac, both Roberto and Roman performed very well, closing their group's session in P5 and P7 respectively. Under Monaco's peculiar ruleset this will mean P10 for Mehri and P14 for Mavlanov on tomorrow's starting grid, positions that should allow the Zeta Corse drivers to put up a good show in the race.
Roberto Merhi (Q. Gr.A - P5; Grid - P10): "All in all I'm pretty happy with our performance today. On Thursday in the practice we decided not to fit new tyres at all, and so today on my first laps on new rubber I struggled a bit in finding the limit. That, together with a small mistake I did at the Portier corner clipping the wall on my fastest lap, made my qualifying worst than it could have been, but P5 in my group wasn't bad at all, and from P10 we should have the pace to recover some places".
Roman Mavlanov (Q. Gr. A - P7; Grid - P14): "It was quite a positive session for me. 7th in my group is a decent result for a rookie, and even the crash at the end of the session wasn't too bad news. It happened while I was really pushing too much, so it was quite useful in telling me what the limit of the car is. Now I know where I can push hard and where I must back off bit, and that kind of knowledge will surely prove useful tomorrow".
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